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Marianela Sanchez Ortiz

Marianela Sanchez Ortiz

HRD, Legal Coordinator
Observatorio Venezolano de Prisiones (OVP)

It is sad to see that the government has shown complete inability, negligence and irresponsibility regarding the prison system. You cannot manage a prison from a desk, to manage it you have to spend time with the people there, listen to their families, stay there day after day, feel the smell of the prison


Marianela Sánchez Ortiz is a human rights defender and the Legal Coordinator for the Observatorio Venezolano de Prisiones (OVP - Venezuelan Prisons Observatory), which documents violations against prison detainees in Venezuela. She faces threats and harassment as a result of her work.

HRDs have been working under restrictive policies for many years: the Maduro administration has continued the work begun by Chávez in restricting civil space and delegitimising HRDs, repeatedly accusing them of undermining the Venezuelan democracy with the alleged collaboration of the United States. HRDs are discredited and criminalised by state-controlled media (television, radio, print media) on a weekly basis.